Canon Announces the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS and RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lenses

Canon Announces the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS and RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lenses

Canon has expanded their mirrorless lens lineup by two lenses, the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS and RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. Both lenses are unique in their own ways. Check them out!

RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

The RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM completes the f/2.8 zoom holy trinity alongside the RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM and RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM lenses. It's a bit unique in that it is not internally zooming. This makes it quite short when used at the wide end, though it does become physically longer as you zoom in. In terms of weight, the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS comes in 28% lighter than its EF cousin, however, which will be a nice step forward for any photographer who makes their living with a 70-200mm lens (wedding photographers, for example). The weight distribution has also been improved, concentrating more of the elements closer to the camera body, improving balance. 

The new lens is the first Canon lenses to include two Nano USM focusing motors, likely making it very quick to focus. Each motor drives a separate lens group as part of a floating focus control, reducing focusing distance and breathing. In addition, the lens includes Canon's customizable control ring, 17 lens elements in 13 groups, including two aspherical elements, four UD elements, and one super UD element, five stops of image stabilization, dust and weather resistance, and Subwavelength Structure Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.

RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS

The RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS is a variation on Canon's most famous portrait lens design, including defocus smoothing, which is Canon's term for apodization. This produces especially smooth bokeh. The tradeoff with this is that the lens loses around 1-1.5 stops of transmittance, effectively making it somewhere around a T2-T2.2 lens, as is standard with such lenses. This means you'll have the depth of field properties of an f/1.2 lens, but the light-gathering abilities of an approximately f/2 or f/2.2 lens. 

In addition, the lens features Canon's customizable control ring, one aspherical element, one UD element, blue refractive optics to reduce chromatic aberration, dust and weather resistance, and Air Sphere Coating to reduce flare and ghosting. 


Both lenses are available for preorder at the links below:

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Something doesn't make sense to me with the 85 comparisons. At f1.2, how is the non-DS have such super super sharp background bokeh balls vs the DS version. Yet, the front bokeh balls basically remain the same? That's just not possible at f1.2. Even the camera left side of her face is blurry. Also, notice how much bigger the non-DS side is. Almost as if they were closer to the subject.

The bokeh balls are light sources. The actual Christmas balls in the foreground are not and thus just out of focus.
The reason the softer balls appear smaller is because the edge is feathered and thus eliminates a sharp edge that will result in the diameter appearing smaller.

The fact that this effect is really only visible in light sources wide open shows the the extremes bokeh fans will go to to look at something almost no one else looks at.
A slim trick for so much money.

I'm glad I am a Nikon shooter these days and I'm not even 1% jealous of either one of these lenses. One seems like a gimmick and the other is supposed to be a "professional" 70-200mm f2.8, yet it has an amateur like external zoom and cheap/short lens hood. I'm sure the image quality is going to be incredible, but I hate external zooming lenses and will not buy one. They not only increase the amount of dirt, dust and debris that can find their way into the inner elements, but I question their weather sealing. I'm a photojournalist and need the toughest gear available so I use two D4s bodies a D500, 400mm f2.8 VR, 70-200mm f2.8 FL, etc, etc. I'd be pissed if Nikon made their new 70-200mm f2.8 "S" lens an extending zoom. However Nikon would never be so stupid and this "bokeh" rendering thing is another fail, at least Nikon did this with their 105 and 135mm f2 DC lenses, WITHOUT sacrificing transmission. If I buy an 85mm f1.2, I want freaking f/1.2!!!

1. Stay as a Nikon shooter. You will never be able to get such kind of quality optics from Nikon.
2. There are a number of professional lenses with external zoom function (like 24-70 f/2.8).

I have been a Canon shooter for many of my 19 years as a photojournalist and I have nothing at all bad to say about Canon optics. All I was saying is a professional 70-200mm f2.8 zoom should not be external zooming, that's not very professional. Why can't I have my own subjective opinion about what I consider to be a mistake on Canon's part? By the way the new Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 FL lens is by far the best 70-200mm f2.8 ever made and beats the new Canon by quite a bit. You'll more than welcome to research the LensRental's article or any other comparison article's. Most Nikon super-tele lenses also beat Canon, by a fair amount too. The truth is though, that BOTH Canon and Nikon are awesome and I love both to death. I would be happy using either system, but I just wouldn't buy this lens here. I'm sure the image quality is amazing and will be first rate, I just don't like or trust the external zoom, period. Jesus why can't I have my opinion?

A massive 6 comments on this article and already someone trying to wage the Canon vs Nikon war with stupid arguments.

Then don't make another stupid argument and be quiet!

Nope, I’ll just continue calling people out like you who come to these forums just to spew hate

And if you care to notice. I wasn’t even replying to your comment anyway!

the 70-200mm is not internally zooming? How is that for weather sealing, then? Can't imagine it works very well, and a L series premium lens without weather sealing sounds like a pretty bad deal, tbh.

The 24-70 2.8 is also not internal zooming and is weather sealing. Never had a problem with it shooting under the rain. The sun-hood is also on top of it most of the time.
Nothing to worry about.

Well that was back with the old 24-70 2.8L. But the second version had their hood mounted on the rim of the extending barrel. This won't protect the portion that extends.

That's my thought. The part that extends and retracts would have to be a weak point for dust and liquid, wouldnt it? (I'm no engineer)

Agree and I definitely prefer that Nikon has kept the large lens hood design even on their newer 24-70mm f2.8 VR lens. 24-70mm and 28-70mm lenses have always extended yes, and yes they are professional lenses, but you're right they all used to have lens hoods that covered the entire area of extension. However people arguing that just because a 24-70mm extends, so should a 70-200mm f2.8 are wrong in my opinion. This is both subjective and objective and I don't mind that some people like or don't mind this design, but then why can't I dislike it without being attacked? So you people can be just fine with an extending 70-200mm f2.8, but if I don't care for or don't like the design, I'm an idiot? Seriously WTF?

To be honest, I wish manufacturers could make their zoom lenses to be all internal zooming. But maybe for 24-70, it's an impossible task.

A lot of people always complain about weather sealing, yet the vast majority shoot pictures of their cat in their living room

I don't think this lens is really marketed towards the sorts who shoot pictures of their cats, at $2700(US? Making it probably close to $5k Aus guesstimate).

That's a great little cheap trick to make the 70-200 compact. That technique's been standard operational procedure in MFT and compact bodies. As long as they've figured out how to keep it weather sealed, then it's golden.

The 85 is the perfect bokeh sucker's lens. Your family won't eat for a couple of weeks after you buy it, but boy, that bokeh ay?...

If they've figured out a way to weather seal with an externally extending part, then that's amazing, and for the reduction in weight and size, would be incredible for doing any sort of travel photography.

And that 85mm is NUTS. Do want.